February 2012

6 Years and 4 Weeks

by Sheryll on February 28, 2012

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a personal post, so I just wanted to let you know what’s going on in my world.

Johnny is currently flying somewhere over Russia, on his way to Seoul, South Korea….with a 15 hour layover in the Beijing Airport. Eek! It’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve seen him last, and it’ll be another 4 before we see each other again. I’m missing him like crazy.

Today is our 6 year anniversary. It’s so wonderful to have someone like him in my life. There’s not too many people that would quit their job and travel through Europe with their girlfriend…then move to South Korea for a year. It’s great having someone that wants to travel the world, who also agrees we don’t need to rush into a marriage and/or kids, who’s just a great listener, lover, and friend. I’m a lucky, lucky, lucky, girl.

I don’t think we’ve ever spent this day apart from each other, so it’s especially tough. But I know that these next 4 weeks are going to fly by. Especially with all the stuff I have to do.

Things I need to do:
1. Finish my damn TEFL certification. 50% finished!
2. Send in my Visa application (doing this today)
3. Send in my tax Residence certificate
4. Get my hair trimmed
5. Narrow down what to pack (sigh)
6. Buy deodorant, bras, tampons, jeans
7. Learn Hangul
8. Learn about Kpop stars and Korean dramas
9. Spend as much time with my 6 year old niece as possible

Alabama is definitely no Los Angeles or Paris, but it’s been nice to have some down time with my family. My dad’s cooking is amazing, and I’m always being bombarded with some sort of new recipe or cake or pie. I have lunch dates with my mom. I have a free gym membership because my older sister is an instructor, and my 6 year old niece tells me that she won’t be my friend anymore if I don’t smell her feet. All in all, things are going great.

Just 4 more weeks and I’ll be in South Korea. As I sit here in my PJs and pull my hair out over lesson plans, try to learn about Kpop stars and Korean dramas, and work on my Hangul, I realize I’m incredibly blessed. I can’t believe that I’m doing this. Just a year ago, I was a depressed, emotional eating, trainwreck. I just got back from Europe, and now I’m moving to Korea.

As Jay and Kanye say…that shit cray.

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9 Hours in Le Louvre

by Sheryll on February 23, 2012

Yup, you read that right. Johnny and I spent 9 hours in Le Louvre (with a break for a long lunch and shopping in the Carrousel du Louvre). While Musée d’Orsay is still my favorite, no trip to Paris is complete without a trip to the most famous museum in the world.

And even if you only have a few hours to spend to see the famous things (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace, the whole Egypt wing), make sure to see the Napoleon Apartments. Located in the Richelieu wing, it was hands down my favorite thing in the Louvre. I’m pretty sure Johnny and I spent an hour there alone, gawking at everything. It was breathtaking!





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A Sweet Tooth in Europe

by Sheryll on February 20, 2012

Before I left on my trip, I wasn’t really a sweets person. I freakin’ drink kale smoothies! But when I went on this trip, that all was blown out of the window. I’m 99.9% sure I ate my body weight in sugar while I was gone. But that’s sort of the point right? Gelato, cannolis and everything pistachio flavored in Rome, pastries and macarons like crazy in Paris, Venice and their candy stores, Lisbon and the amazing Pastéis de Belém, nutella on pretty much everything. But oh. It was SO worth it.


When we were in Rome, we saw a stand for these MASSIVE sugar donuts, with the option to add Nutella. Naturally, we went for it. Amazing.


Johnny and I had a vote, and this ricotta cheesecake we had in Rome was HANDS DOWN the best thing we ate in Europe. I’ll never look at cheesecake the same again.


If you are ever in Paris, you must go to Synie’s Cupcakes. Trust me.


Tarte au citron? Yes, please!


And of course, the famous Pastéis de Belém. They are a sweet custard pastry and absolutely heavenly. Johnny and I had way more than our fair share of these when we were in Portugal.

I feel like I need a sugar detox just revisiting all of these photos! What is your favorite type of international dessert?

 

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The Gorgeous Château de Versailles

by Sheryll on February 15, 2012

The first time I went to Paris, I went to Versailles with my friend Alicia from Frugal Gal Finds, but we got there too late and could only see the gardens. This time around, I vowed to make sure I actually got to see inside the palace, and WOW. Just wow! I couldn’t take it. I’ve always had a thing for the Marie-Antoinette opulent “style” so to speak, so it was an absolute dream to finally be able to see the inside of the château.

But before we get to the inside…let’s talk about the gardens. I’ve still never had the opportunity to see the gardens in full bloom, but I can only imagine how gorgeous they must be. Even with the trees bare, you can tell just how much care and maintenance goes into keeping the gardens in pristine condition.


I’m a huge fan of all gold everything, so seeing just how much gold is around the palace made my heart very, very, happy. Such glamor!


The famous Hall of Mirrors was everything I expected it to be, and then some.


My favorite part of the palace was the Queen’s (most famously Marie-Antoinette’s) bedroom. It’s ridiculously over the top, but that’s what makes it so badass.


LOOK AT THAT BED. Seriously..it’s insane. And awesome.


I don’t know if you can tell, but on the wall on the left side of the picture is the hidden door Marie-Antoinette used to escape from the mob storming her room. And look at all that gold! And all of the detail! *swoon*


I’m so, so, SO glad I was able to finally see the inside of the palace. You need a full day to see the palace and the gardens in their entirety, so keep that in mind whenever you make plans to visit. To get to Versailles, you can take the RER train C towards Versailles – Rive Gauche. From the train stop, the palace is about a 5 to 7 minute walk. Don’t buy your tickets from the “official” tourist office, buy them from the actual palace. It’ll save you about 5 Euro. Ticket prices are €15 for the palace alone, and include an audio guide for your visit. If you’d like to visit the Trianon Palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate, that’s €10. I think there’s some sort of discount if you buy them together, but I’m not sure.

Versailles is one of those places that is well worth the Euro. If you ever find yourself in Paris, you gotta go!

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La Boqueria: The Most Magical Market Ever

by Sheryll on February 13, 2012

Behold.

The most magical, amazing, breathtaking, badass market EVER: La Boqueria in Barcelona.

It’s so huge, that they provide you with a MAP to navigate your way around. And trust me, you’ll use it.

So, do you like fruit?

Well there’s PLENTY of that for you. Strawberries, bananas, pineapple, mango, pear, and more exotic fruits. MAGIC! Magic, I tell you!

So do you like vegetables?!

After almost 2 months of pizza, pasta, cheese, baguettes…basically a carb fest, all I wanted to do was take all of the vegetables and make the biggest salad ever. There’s something about vegetables that makes my heart go crazy. I couldn’t take it!

But oh no, there’s not only fruits and vegetables in this magical market. Ohhh no.

There’s seafood.

Fancy some pork?


I couldn’t resist these adorable piggies!

Or maybe some fresh squeezed fruit juice?


Johnny and I had some juice, and it was delicious. It was definitely 100% fresh squeezed and freshly made. No tropicana in here!

Or maybe you just want some gelato. Well, La Boqueira has got you covered.


DO YOU SEE THE KINDER FLAVORED GELATO?! Pretty sure I fainted.

Kid at heart? How about some candy?


Cheese!!!!


Peppers!


Spices!


And it goes on. And on. And on.


There are tapas bars, regular bars, an organic/vegetarian restaurant, chocolates…EVERYTHING. Seriously, anything you could ever want (as far as food goes), is in La Boqueria. Johnny and I stayed at La Boqueria almost 2 hours. It’s that amazing. Every corner was a new discovery, some new type of vegetable or fruit. It’s truly breathtaking. Everyone knows that Spain is foodie heaven, and La Boqueria is basically food porn at it’s finest. La Boqueria is located off of La Rambla, so it’s really easy to find. It’s definitely a MUST if you are in Barcelona, you will not be disappointed.

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